“We Will Not Just Shut Up and Play”: Kyrie Irving and Coalition Issue Statement Regarding NBA Resumption

Published 06/16/2020, 2:35 AM EDT

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On 5th June, the NBPA approved the NBA Board of Governors plan to resume the season with a 28-0 vote. Just a week later, Kyrie Irving, NBPA vice-president, went back on his decision. He said, “I don’t support going into Orlando. I’m not with systematic racism and bullshit. Something smells a little fishy.”

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That has left the NBA divided. Irving and a few other veterans like Dwight Howard and Avery Bradley, who are against the return, on one side. While LeBron James and other players like Austin Rivers and Garrett Temple have said they can use the NBA as a platform to show their activism.

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Irving, Bradley, and a coalition of players have decided to step up, as they attempt to be a voice for other players who fear the backlash for speaking up.

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The coalition issued a statement to ESPN. “We are a group of men and women from different teams and industries that are normally painted as opponents, but have put our egos and differences aside to make sure we stand united and demand honesty during this uncertain time.

The coalition went on to add, “We are combating the issues that matter most: We will not accept the racial injustices that continue to be ignored in our communities. We will not be kept in the dark when it comes to our health and well-being. And we will not ignore the financial motivations/expectations that have prevented us historically from making sound decisions.”

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“This is not about individual players, athletes, or entertainers. This is about our group of strong men and women uniting for change. We have our respective fields, however, we will not just shut up and play to distract us from what this whole system has been about: Use and Abuse.”

Interestingly Irving had asked to be a part of the Nets camp in Orlando. He had expressed his desire to join as an inactive after suffering a shoulder injury in March. Kendrick Perkins criticized him for this reason. saying he has started unnecessary drama in the NBA.

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Sooner or later, the NBPA might be called into action again. With the season date looming, the decision has to be taken immediately.

 

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Written by:

Aaron Mathew

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Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.
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